Radical New Concept Hyper-Simplifies the Camera as We Know It


When BBC Future approached design company Conran with a challenge to “redesign any object,” Senior Product Designer Jared Mankelow chose the camera. He believes that the form factor of our cameras hasn’t kept pace with their function, and so his square creation harkens back to the film cameras of old, while simultaneously catapulting the camera into the future.

The most striking thing about Mankelow’s concept is what’s missing — that being, most everything. There is no screen, no lens, no circular mode switch or digital controls. Even the center of the camera where most of the business end would normally be is replaced by a large hole that acts as your viewfinder.

In some ways, it’s similar to the comical donut cam we shared with you some time ago, but where the donut cam was a novelty, Mankelow sees his re-invention as a perfect mix between the future and the past. Here he is explaining his creation to the folks at the BBC:

The focus of the new concept is, basically, to get it out of your way. The camera as we know it has you placing a large light-proof box in front of your face. Mankelow would like it if that wasn’t the case.

Being a concept, the technical side isn’t described in detail, but it seems that a production model would have a large number of small sensors arranged in a circular array around the large hole/aperture, with a ring flash encircling them.


All of your controls (e.g. aperture, ISO, shutter speed, etc.) come in the form of physical buttons and switches on the back. And the camera’s output can be sent immediately via Bluetooth to whatever smartphone or tablet device you happen to have at hand.

The concept is, for now, just that, so don’t expect to be seeing Conran’s design on store shelves any time soon. But, as we’ve seen in the past, enough interest from consumers definitely has the potential to take a crazy idea from concept to reality.

Head over to BBC Future for more pics and details.

(via Core77)

  • Duke Shin

    Sounds like a neat concept. It could be like shooting with a 70’s rangefinder… But is a shutter button really too difficult to press?

  • Chris

    Wonderful display of over-designed but non existent technology!
    His shirt says it all.
    I’m so excited……….

  • SgtBoognish

    Damnit, finally figured out what I hate about my Nikon D4! It has
    these stupid things called “buttons” that get in my way. And a screen.
    Oh yeah, and it isn’t square. Because that looks much more ergonomically

    PS is this bollocks a late April Fool’s joke?

  • dannybuoy

    Not my cup of tea. I love looking at cameras with beautiful glass in the front.

  • Photog

    I’ll keep my donut cam, Thanks.

  • tyrohne

    Adjusting aperture without a discrete focusing aid seems like an exercise in futility.

    I think this is too clever by naught.

    And, I can’t get past him saying ‘te’blet’ as tablet.

  • phototodo

    Does it take round pictures? How do you compose through a hole?

  • Chris Lyn

    If it ain’t broke…

  • Mike

    Hey you can zoom by moving it away from your eye :D

  • MarvinB7

    I don’t think this guy even takes himself seriously. This is a non-camera. This is a waste of time. Design for the sake of design = creative self pleasure.